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cheating higher ed

Educators are in an arms race these days against an industry that seeks to profit by helping students cheat. Some websites offer to write papers for students, others sell access to past tests by individual professors, and others will even take entire online courses for students, as a kind of study double.

January 28, 3PM Live: How to Protect Academic Integrity From a ‘Cheating Economy.’ We’ll see you on Tuesday, January 28 at 1pm PT/4pm ET at this Zoom link or with the Meeting ID: 655-009-467.


question to Tricia: the aggressiveness of the Websites. radio silence by governments, universities.

is there a data on contract cheating: data from Australia, UK. 7 Mil students worldwide engaged in contsure

punitive vs preventive practices.
students being educated for that matter faculty.
stakeholders: students, faculty (accreditation), parents, administration. what the forces in place to keep in check the administration/
how does the education happen in a world where the grade is the king and the credit is the queen?
If i organize a workshop on cheating noone attends; overworked

not magic bullet. more communication and awareness. teaching and learning issue. in the business of certifying. integrity is essential to the certification program and teaching and learning, otherwise it cannot be graded. lost from the core mission.

clear and better policies: what is the role of the faculty in the process. when teaching and learning is not sufficient and needs to move to allegations.

Instructional designer: online is easier to cheat.

more on cheating in this IMS blog

technology and cheating

More university students are using tech to cheat in exams

Guardian uncovers 42% rise in cheating cases involving gadgets such as mobile phones and hidden earpieces since 2012

  Monday 10 April 2017

students were caught cheating with smart watches over the period examined, and cases of students using hidden earpieces or miniature cameras were reported at multiple universities.

The Guardian found multiple websites that openly targeted students with devices that could be used for cheating.

prevent cheating could be to write better exams.

more on cheating in this IMS blog

educating prevents cheating

How Educating Students About Dishonesty Can Help Curb Cheating

How Educating Students About Dishonesty Can Help Curb Cheating

Cheating remains a stubborn problem at many schools. According to the Educational Testing Service and the Ad Council, who define cheating as “representing someone else’s work as your own,” cheating tends to start in junior high, peak in high school, and occur most often in math and science classes. Men and women cheat in equal measure, both sexes aided by the ubiquity of computers and the internet, and most cheaters aren’t caught. Both high- and low-achieving students find ways to misrepresent their work, explaining away their misconduct with familiar rationalizations: everybody does it, it’s a victimless crime, and getting the grade matters more.

while few cheat a lot—20 of the 40,000 involved in the experiments—many more—about 28,000—cheated a little bit. Most everyone has what he calls a “personal fudge factor” that allows for just a little dishonesty, provided that the conditions are right. For example, if people see others cheating without consequence, they’re more apt to do the same; social norms permit it. If cheating seems to benefit a “good cause,” even more feel comfortable deceiving.




more on cheating and academic dishonesty in this IMS blog

Cheating Inadvertently

Cheating Inadvertently

2001 article that illustrated nicely the challenge we face in helping students do their work with integrity.

the form of plagiarism continues into graduate school, where plagiarism remains, by far, the most common form of academic dishonesty.

the article repeats to a degree what is already known:

namely, that plagiarism is in a much smaller degree intentional and to its largest percentage lack of systematic approach and clear directions by faculty toward students.

Rebecca Moore Howard, a professor of writing and rhetoric at Syracuse University, has called “patchwriting,” or borrowing large sentence structures and vocabularies from a source and only swapping out the occasional word or phrase with language of their own.

academic integrity represents an incredibly complex subject to master: It encompasses knowledge (What are the rules of academic integrity? How do they apply in this context?), skills (How do I summarize or paraphrase this passage without plagiarizing? How do I credit the work of others when I am collaborating with peers or using sources?), and values (Why does academic integrity matter? Why should I care about it?).

“Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing.”
― Salvador Dalí

Algorithmic Test Proctoring

Our Bodies Encoded: Algorithmic Test Proctoring in Higher Education


While in-person test proctoring has been used to combat test-based cheating, this can be difficult to translate to online courses. Ed-tech companies have sought to address this concern by offering to watch students take online tests, in real time, through their webcams.

Some of the more prominent companies offering these services include ProctorioRespondusProctorUHonorLockKryterion Global Testing Solutions, and Examity.

Algorithmic test proctoring’s settings have discriminatory consequences across multiple identities and serious privacy implications. 

While racist technology calibrated for white skin isn’t new (everything from photography to soap dispensers do this), we see it deployed through face detection and facial recognition used by algorithmic proctoring systems.

While some test proctoring companies develop their own facial recognition software, most purchase software developed by other companies, but these technologies generally function similarly and have shown a consistent inability to identify people with darker skin or even tell the difference between Chinese people. Facial recognition literally encodes the invisibility of Black people and the racist stereotype that all Asian people look the same.

As Os Keyes has demonstrated, facial recognition has a terrible history with gender. This means that a software asking students to verify their identity is compromising for students who identify as trans, non-binary, or express their gender in ways counter to cis/heteronormativity.

These features and settings create a system of asymmetric surveillance and lack of accountability, things which have always created a risk for abuse and sexual harassment. Technologies like these have a long history of being abused, largely by heterosexual men at the expense of women’s bodies, privacy, and dignity.

Their promotional messaging functions similarly to dog whistle politics which is commonly used in anti-immigration rhetoric. It’s also not a coincidence that these technologies are being used to exclude people not wanted by an institution; biometrics and facial recognition have been connected to anti-immigration policies, supported by both Republican and Democratic administrations, going back to the 1990’s.

Borrowing from Henry A. Giroux, Kevin Seeber describes the pedagogy of punishment and some of its consequences in regards to higher education’s approach to plagiarism in his book chapter “The Failed Pedagogy of Punishment: Moving Discussions of Plagiarism beyond Detection and Discipline.”

my note: I am repeating this for years
Sean Michael Morris and Jesse Stommel’s ongoing critique of Turnitin, a plagiarism detection software, outlines exactly how this logic operates in ed-tech and higher education: 1) don’t trust students, 2) surveil them, 3) ignore the complexity of writing and citation, and 4) monetize the data.

Technological Solutionism

Cheating is not a technological problem, but a social and pedagogical problem.
Our habit of believing that technology will solve pedagogical problems is endemic to narratives produced by the ed-tech community and, as Audrey Watters writes, is tied to the Silicon Valley culture that often funds it. Scholars have been dismantling the narrative of technological solutionism and neutrality for some time now. In her book “Algorithms of Oppression,” Safiya Umoja Noble demonstrates how the algorithms that are responsible for Google Search amplify and “reinforce oppressive social relationships and enact new modes of racial profiling.”

Anna Lauren Hoffmann, who coined the term “data violence” to describe the impact harmful technological systems have on people and how these systems retain the appearance of objectivity despite the disproportionate harm they inflict on marginalized communities.

This system of measuring bodies and behaviors, associating certain bodies and behaviors with desirability and others with inferiority, engages in what Lennard J. Davis calls the Eugenic Gaze.

Higher education is deeply complicit in the eugenics movement. Nazism borrowed many of its ideas about racial purity from the American school of eugenics, and universities were instrumental in supporting eugenics research by publishing copious literature on it, establishing endowed professorships, institutes, and scholarly societies that spearheaded eugenic research and propaganda.

more on privacy in this IMS blog

Charter schools

A charter chain thinks it has the answer for alternative schools

Critics complain that the schools lack rigor and often use software programs vulnerable to cheating, such as Edgenuity.

Bixby also pushed back on the idea, expressed by some alternative school critics, that students in traditional classrooms, with teachers who each see over 150 pupils a day, are assured a more meaningful experience. Altus students are assigned to one main teacher who becomes responsible for each of their students’ progress throughout their time in the program. The network aims to assign no more than 40 students to each teacher so that they have time to get to know them. And all instruction is delivered one-on-one or in small groups.

more on charter schools in this IMS blog

100 tech debacles of the decade

1. Anti-School Shooter Software

4. “The Year of the MOOC” (2012)

6. “Everyone Should Learn to Code”

8. LAUSD’s iPad Initiative (2013)

9. Virtual Charter Schools

10. Google for Education

14. inBloom. The Shared Learning Collaborative (2011)

17. Test Prep

20. Predictive Analytics

22. Automated Essay Grading

25. Peter Thiel

26. Google Glass

32. Common Core State Standards

44. YouTube, the New “Educational TV”

48. The Hour of Code

49. Yik Yak

52. Virtual Reality

57. TurnItIn (and the Cheating Detection Racket) (my note: repeating the same for years:

59. Clayton Christensen’s Predictions

61. Edmodo.

62. Edsurge

64. Alexa at School

65. Apple’s iTextbooks (2011)

67. UC Berkeley Deletes Its Online Lectures. ADA

72. Chatbot Instructors. IBM Watson “AI” technology (2016)

81. Interactive Whiteboards (my note: repeating the same for years:

82. “The End of Library” Stories (and the Software that Seems to Support That)

86. Badges

89. Clickers

90. “Ban Laptops” Op-Eds (my note: collecting pros and cons for years:

92. “The Flipped Classroom”

93. 3D Printing

100. The Horizon Report

2019 Year in Education

five of the biggest education stories of the year


Proctor-ring April’s Fool

Introducing Proctor-ring

Posted by  |April 2019 /

Announcing Proctor-ring, a new biometric tool in the war on cheating.

Starting today, Online Learning has partnered with the Academic Integrity Task Force and that import shop in the strip mall on Hwy 99 to provide a new, low cost option for improving the integrity of your exams. The Proctor-ring uses mood ring technology to identify common changes in human emotion that have been calibrated to identify academic dishonesty. While many vendors will sell you very expensive tools to combat cheating, the Proctor-ring is cost effective and scales well across all disciplines.

The proctorring color chart explains what colors are associated with which emotion or breach in academic honesty.a test taker is wearing a gauche ring with a stone jewel while taking a paper exam

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